View Full Version : Anxiety in public places

01-24-14, 12:40 PM
Thanks in advance for reading this...

I have been diagnosed with ADHD and chronic pain (possibly interrelated). Currently figuring out meds to manage the pain. I have had a social anxiety since I was a kid which is getting better and better. There is a part of it, however, that keeps bothering me. Btw, I am a senior in college and currently take pain meds that reduce anxiety as a side effect.

I feel very ill at ease traversing a public place on my own. Usually I compulsively focus on where I am going. I feel very anxious until I reach this target and even worse when there is no clear target/end. Looking for a person kills me. Also, when boarding a train, for instance, I am desperate to sit down somewhere. When waiting for someone in a public place I tend to leave early (you know, being late otherwise) and linger somewhere safer as not to have to be exposed in public any longer than necessary. If that's not possible I go sit somewhere very quietly and hope I won't be noticed. It is better, however, when sitting down. I cannot wander on my own because it makes me very nervous. When I am in the supermarket looking for something I can get very close to panic. I would rather pick the wrong thing or forget about it than take my time to find it. When walking from A to B, I would seriously prefer running if it wouldn't draw more attention to me.

It impairs me socially. "Where were you last night, I couldn't find you?" "No, I just went to bed early [because I locked myself in my room after couldn't find any of you and lost it]." Funnily it only takes one companion for me to feel less anxious.

Does this sound even remotely understandable? Has anyone else experienced something similar?

01-26-14, 03:25 AM
I relate to feeling more comfortable with just one companion. I even feel better when I walk the dog.

One part of my anxiety is being left alone in wide spaces so even though I hate it I try to stay around a group of people. I get anxious when people look at me and I often wear ear phones and listen to some music to drown out the noise. I wear dark glasses too but that is mainly a sensory sensitivity thing but it does help with anxiety too. Somehow when people appear less brighter I can feel less anxious around them.

I often get angry at people (not usually to their face) if they leave me in a place for too long on my own.

I feel comfortable sitting down on public transport. I hate catching the busier trains in Sydney and don't get a chance to sit down. I feel so nervous that I get angry at people. Again not to their face. Just an inner rage boiling up inside me.

Going somewhere quiet to sit sounds like a good idea but I also become scared in those situations.

01-26-14, 04:57 AM
Yes, I experience extreme social anxiety at times. There are times when I am extremely sensitive to artificial light, sound, texture, crowds, etc. My meds help. And I'm pretty selective about what I expose myself to as I get older.

My dogs and my cat ground me. My husband doesn't tolerate much drama and brings me back to reality pretty quickly - and I am grateful. I try to do the same with him. We provide a good reality check for each other and have similar sensitivities.

Meds help. A stable relationship helps. Etc.

01-26-14, 11:18 AM
i can relate somewhat
if its busy enough i dont mind bc i feel " invisible". half empty stores bother me sometimes.
i hate meeting up sith people in public places!